The World in Black and White

A childhood friend challenged me to post seven black and white photos, one each day for seven days on Facebook. The photos could contain no images of people, and I wasn’t allowed to comment on the subject matter. Do you know how difficult it was for me to forgo an explanation of the pictures? Excruciating, that’s what it was.

Fortunately I have this blog and no restrictions as far as I can tell. Of this one thing, I am the boss.

The one below was taken in Chicago from the backseat of a car during an Uber ride. I’m amazed that I didn’t have to crop any humans out of the picture.

The next photo is of a portion of the ceiling at the Cadillac Palace Theatre where my daughter and one of my granddaughters, and I saw Les Misérables.

The anchor below was found on Amelia Island in Florida. I paused to snap the photo as Studly Doright urged me to run for our car while a storm headed our way. With one step to go I got drenched! But the shot was worth it.

Next up is a moody picture of the Florida capitol building. If you’re ever in Tallahassee it’s well worth visiting.

The Atlantic Ocean near our Amelia Island Hotel posed for my next shot. Loved these clouds.

Another photo taken on Amelia Island showcases the swamp we kayaked through on a recent visit. That house in the background looks a bit haunted shown in black and white.

Finally, one last photo from Amelia Island. This one is self-explanatory. I love the sepia look of this one.

I feel much better now, having given these shots some context. Maybe I’ll sleep tonight.

Peace, people!

Exercises in Deep Breathing

A couple of days ago I shared a meme on Facebook that caused tempers to flare. I first included it in this post, but honestly, I feel like I’ve been through the ringer. ¡No más! So, I deleted it before publishing.

Basically the meme was a take on the whole “weather catastrophes are the fault of….(insert gays/feminists/atheists/Muslims, etc.).” only this one jokingly put the blame for Hurricane Harvey on Trump, and then asked, “see how ridiculous that sounds.”

Obviously I was trying to make a point about how ridiculous some of the wacky religious and/or political pundits sound when they blame catastrophic events on homosexuality or feminism or any number of unrelated events, so the amount of vitriol the post attracted was rather stunning. Clearly it was satire.

Was I not aware of the suffering people in coastal Texas and surrounding areas were experiencing? Well, yes, I am aware and have posted numerous links to responsible agencies who are accepting donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey, and I’ve donated to more than a few such organizations myself. If I thought I could be an asset instead of an aggravation I’d be volunteering there right now. The good folks of Houston and beyond are going to need help for many months to come, and I’ll help in whatever ways I can.

Have I no sense of shame? Certainly I do when shame is warranted. This isn’t one of those times.

What has happened to me? Apparently I used to be a good person, but I’m not anymore. Huh. I’ve always tried to do the right thing. I haven’t always been successful, but I look out for others and treat people kindly.

The meme is in poor taste! I don’t believe it is; however, cutting a proposed one billion dollars of funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s budget in order to finance a wall between the U.S. and Mexico is certainly crossing a line that far exceeds the realm of good taste, and I don’t see any of the folks who lambasted me over my meme having a meltdown over that.

Several folks lectured me on my morality and ethics. Oddly enough none of them would be my first choice were I to go in search of a teacher on those issues.

A thoughtful friend sent this to me after reading the battering posts. I take great comfort in good friends.

I continue to pray for all those affected by Harvey. Yes, I do. Even those who think I’m a bad person.

If you want to support a great organization that’s helping out folks who’ve lost everything to this devastating storm here are more verified links:

https://www.youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053

Umcor.org

Peace, people.

Took Me Long Enough!

I posted my first piece on July 10, 2014, and voila! It only took me nearly three years to reach the 1,000 follower mark. Oh, and if you add in my follower numbers from Facebook (468), Tumblr (78), and Twitter (237), it’s still fairly dismal, especially considering that many of those are folks who follow me on more than one platform. 

So why do I continue? I asked Studly Doright, my husband of forty plus years why he thought I continued writing in spite of my low followership. He said, “I dunno. Because you’re a masochist?”

So there you go! And if you’re a follower, thanks for being here! I love each and every one of you. Yes, even you. 

Peace, people!

An Unfinished Game

Politics connected us, provided conversation.
We’d never met, and still, I wept the day
That Richard died.

I became friends with a fascinating man on Facebook through a Liberal group we’d gravitated to before this past election. Richard was smart, funny, and upbeat. I learned that he’d lost his wife a few months before we “friended” each other, and he was fighting through his grief while dealing with a grave illness of his own.

As he prepared for a round of chemo Richard asked for volunteers to play against him in Words With Friends, figuring it would be a great way to distract him from the rigors of chemotherapy.

I volunteered and we played one game after another. He was a novice player, and I beat him soundly every time. We didn’t chat much on the app; although, he promised he’d come out the winner eventually. 

A couple of days ago Richard posted on FB that he was going to take some time away from the computer to concentrate all his energy on feeling better. We all wished him well and figured he’d be back in no time, not knowing how very sick he was. The man never complained.

This morning, though, a post from Richard’s brother let us know that our friend had succumbed to complications from pneumonia. All of those who’d befriended him in our political group are devastated, and I cried all morning for the loss of this friend.

We never met in person. Chances are our real world paths never would have crossed, but I valued his friendship. And I mourn his death. Rest easy friend. 


Peace, people.

Concert Shaming

A Facebook friend started a little guessing game on the social media app and it’s now gone viral. The idea is to list ten concerts and have your friends guess which one you haven’t attended.

I tried to play. I did. But when I realized that all of my groups seemed rather lame compared to those of my friends and acquaintances I deleted the post in progress. I didn’t have the Stones or Paul McCartney or Elton John on my list. No, I had Merle Haggard and Tanya Tucker, Charlie Pride and Brooks and Dunn. Big acts in their day, but I definitely have concert envy after reading some of my friends’ lists.

But just for grins, here are ten concert acts. See if you can guess the one I didn’t see in person. And try not to make fun of my taste in music. 

1. Dixie Chicks

2. Three Dog Night

3. The Fifth Dimension

4. The Cowsills

5. Hootie and the Blowfish

6. Huey Lewis and the News

7. The Captain and Tennille

8. Garth Brooks

9. Boyz 2 Men

10. Foghat 

Pretending for Grownups

Before I began blogging on WordPress occasionally I’d write what I called “Pretending for Grownups” posts on Facebook. My Facebook friends would read them and declare, “Oh! You should write a blog!” Ironically, very few of those who urged me to blog actually read my blog–but I blame (and thank) them for my addiction to blogging.

Today Facebook resurrected one of my “memories” which happened to be an early Pretending for Grownups. I thought I’d share it with you. Ah, the good old days…


You Don’t Get to Decide

In response to one of my Facebook posts about the increasing number of hate crimes committed since Trump’s electoral college win of the election:

I obscured the friend’s name to protect her privacy. I’ve known her since kindergarten and we’ve managed to remain friends even though we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

The thing is, I’ve gotten several comments like this, and my first thought is, how dare they?

I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone to get over something they’re feeling intensely. Maybe I’ve thought the words, but I would never presume to tell them that they don’t have the right to grieve or to feel something.

After my mother’s funeral, after everyone except my dad, my brothers and their wives, along with my husband and I had left the church Daddy pulled us all together in a massive hug and told us he loved us. As we all sobbed he reminded us to always tell our spouses that we loved them. We took a private moment to grieve as a family.

Later I received pointed criticism from someone outside my immediate family. Apparently it was inexcusable that we’d kept everyone waiting for a few extra minutes. You know what? Screw them. 

That time was a part of our grieving and part of the way we found the strength to move on. My family doesn’t always speak about its deepest feelings, and to have denied my dad that moment with us would have been a terrible mistake. 

No one gets to decide how I grieve. No one. Not a Facebook friend, not a family member, not a co-worker, not a smug acquaintance. I’ll be ok, but today, I’m still grieving. So back off. Seriously.

Peace? Yes, peace, people.

Question for the Aged 

A friend posted this meme on his Facebook page today and jokingly quipped, “My wife.”  
But being the deep thinker that I am, instead of quickly responding with something like “my vintage Huey Lewis concert tshirt which doubles as my favorite nightgown” I thought I’d turn the question into a blog post.

 

Huey Lewis. I sleep with him, you know.
 
I have a lot of old stuff. Probably the oldest is a bedroom suite that I inherited from my maternal grandmother, my beloved Nannie Grace. It was an antique when she bought it, but she went one step further and antiqued the antique. Sigh. Apparently it was a popular thing to do in the 60’s and 70’s.

   
 I’ve considered having her antiquing process undone and the furniture restored to its original mahogany, but one restorer explained to me that the paint Nannie Grace applied is probably the only thing holding it together at this point.

It’s still a beautiful set, and I’d estimate it at possibly 145 years of age.

There’s also this piece from Nannie Grace

  
And this poor old clock that was my Daddy’s:

  
But my favorite old thing is my side saddle.

  
My maternal grandfather, Grandaddy Carl P., bought this saddle when I was very young. He promised it would be mine someday and here it is. Like Grandaddy, though, I really don’t have anywhere to display it. He kept it in his workshop and Studly always gives me space in the garage for this sentimental piece. It deserves better, so if anyone has a suggestion for how I might incorporate it into my decor I’m more than willing to listen. 

What’s the oldest thing in your house? Why do you have it and what does it mean to you? Inquiring minds want to know.

Peace, people!

That’s Not What I Meant to Say

Forgive me, but my language might get a little graphic here. Saint Helen, don’t read this one, or if you do, read it with your eyes closed.

I engaged in a verbal battle with a Trump supporter on Facebook. I would have ignored him, but he called Hillary the “c” word, and I don’t mean “Clinton.” My intention was to call him “An asshole with typing capabilities” but autocorrect kept changing it to “ashore.” 

The sentence, “apparently you’re an ashore with typing capabilities” isn’t witty repartee. Heck, it doesn’t even make sense. I finally gave up and told him to piss off,  which Autocorrect changed immediately to “pus” off. And that’s just gross.

While I’m speaking of autocorrect, has anyone besides me ever noticed that when you’ve mistyped a word and replacement options are given often they don’t even vaguely resemble the word you had in mind? I once was offered the word “Illinois” when trying to type “loving” in a poem. Granted, I’d gotten the word started with an i instead of an l, but in what context does “His Illinois arms” make sense?

Ok, I feel better now. I’m going to go give that Facebook troll a pizza of my mind. 

  

Trial Separation

“Trial Separation”

Relax, Studly Doright and I aren’t splitting the sheets. Heck, after 40 years of marriage it would be a little ridiculous to call the whole thing off just when life is getting good. Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t days when I have to restrain myself from throwing him out a window. 

  
Studly outweighs me by about a hundred pounds, though, so he’s probably safe. Plus we live in a single story home, but don’t think I haven’t occasionally wondered what a good surprise shove might accomplish. (Note to self: delete this post in case of police inquiry.)

No, I’ve decided for the sake of my sanity to take a break from Facebook. This might not sound like a huge issue for most folks who check in once or twice a day to see what’s going on with their friends, but I have an addiction to this social network, spending as much as two hours a day scrolling through FB statuses on my phone.

I know that’s sad, but in my defense after so many cross country moves Facebook has become my best means of keeping in touch with family and friends. Lately, though, I feel such anger and disappointment that I’m not sure I want to keep in touch with anyone via Facebook. 

Of course my own sense of right and wrong is to blame here. Increasingly I have found it more difficult to ignore the racist comments and the outright lies being peddled as truths. Rather than call someone out as being a lying sack of shit, I’ve chosen to separate from them for a bit. How’s that for diplomacy?

Peace, people!